King of Pentacles

King of Pentacles

Keywords for the King of Pentacles

SUCCESSFULRESPECTED
ACCOMPLISHEDSELF–ASSURED
GROUNDEDGENEROUS
STRONGWEALTHY
POWERFULABUNDANT

In the image on the card, we see the King of Pentacles seated out in his garden, with his castle rising visible to his right in the background. He is dressed in rich, sumptuous robes made of a dark velvet embroidered with ripe purple grapes.

We also see the King’s left foot emerging from the folds of this cloth, and are able to see that he wears a suit of armor underneath the fine fabric. 

This foot rests firmly upon an anvil, representing how he is grounded in the physical, as well as the [gravitas] and weight of his personality, displaying the role that his own hard work has had in tempering his character and creating his world.

The images of oxen which cover his throne reinforce this connection to the cultivation of self and world through strenuous labor carried out with intention. 

Although he is now free to enjoy his extensive wealth and abundance, he will never lose sight of what has made all of this possible. 

King of Pentacles Interpretation

Like all of the court cards, this can represent someone in our outer environment that shows the same qualities and characteristics of the King of Pentacles. Alternatively, in some instances it can also refer to how we ourselves are showing up in a given situation.

Either way, the King of Pentacles represents someone who is grounded and secure both in himself and his achievements. He is a practical man possessing common sense, who is competent and capable in all that he does.

He can often be seen in the image of the successful businessman or entrepreneur as someone who has the capacity to take his ideas and turn them into practical results in the material world. 

However, he is not limited to the fields of money and business, but can also be an artist, an architect, or an engineer, as long as he is able to translate his vision into value expressed in the realities of the physical world. 

Unlike the Knight of Pentacles, however, he does not glorify work for the sake of work. Unlike the Knight, who lives to work, the King of Pentacles works to live. He sees his practical action in the world as necessary to create an abundance which is meant to be enjoyed.

This King is one who enjoys both the simple pleasures of nature as well as the finer things in life. He is not afraid to indulge in luxuries such as fine wine, a gourmet meal at his favorite restaurant, and expensive, well-made clothing and attire.

He has the ability to appreciate not only the physical but also the spiritual value in the material objects which surround him, engaging with them to create a sense of deep-rooted fulfillment and a peaceful satisfaction with life.

Queen of Pentacles

Queen of Pentacles

Keywords for the Queen of Pentacles

DOWN TO EARTHGROUNDED
NURTURINGRELIABLE
RESOURCEFULLOYAL
CARINGTRUSTWORTHY
COMPASSIONATESELF-ASSURED

It is a sunny and warm late afternoon in the countryside. We see a land filled with verdant fields, flowering trees and abundant wildlife all around. 

Amidst this vibrant and lush natural landscape, we see an attractive Queen seated on her throne, holding a golden pentacle in her lap, as gently as if it were her child. 

Her nurturing and maternal nature extend not only to her offspring, but to the cultivation and care for all life around her.

Queen of Pentacles Interpretation

Like all of the court cards, this can represent someone in our outer environment that shows the same qualities and characteristics of the Queen of Pentacles. Alternatively, in some instances it can also refer to how we ourselves are showing up in a given situation.

When the Queen of Pentacles comes up in a tarot reading, it often refers to a person who embodies this queen’s nurturing and down-to-earth personality.

This Queen is known for being grounded and calm, likely due to her confidence and trust in her own ingenuity, resolve, and capacity for resourcefulness. She is practical and wise in the ways of the world, possessing a resilient spirit that will find a way to make do no matter what circumstances or challenges she faces in front of her.

Furthermore, this card refers to a person who is consummately caring and compassionate. She is generous with her love, affection and attention, making sure that the people she loves are taken care of.

This card is related to the archetype of Mother Earth, Gaia, the Divine Mother–figures which are the all-loving, all-nurturing, all-giving source of life and sustenance for what is born from the body and the earth.

As the Queen representing the element of Earth, she is most concerned with the practical matters of life. She possesses a very matter-of-fact way of being in the world and relating to others. She is simple, sensible and realistic.

This Queen is also able to appreciate the beauty and magic which the natural world contains with a sense of wonder and appreciation. She sees and nurtures the living spirit which shines through and animates all matter. 

Above all, she is known for her ability to lovingly create comfort, provide sustenance, and nurture those around her. This is made possible by her deep connection to and reverence for the earth and the many creatures it gives life to. 

Knight of Pentacles

Knight of Pentacles

Keywords for the Knight of Pentacles 

HARDWORKINGPESSIMISTIC
RELIABLECAUTIOUS
SERIOUSBORING
DEPENDABLESTUBBORN
RESPONSIBLECONSERVATIVE

In the image on this card, we see the Knight of Pentacle seated astride his black horse, wearing a dark tunic and heavy suit of armor. Both the Knight and his horse appear to be utterly immobile.

The Knight holds his pentacle outstretched in front of him. And yet, he does so with a certain absent mindedness almost seeming to look past this symbol of magic, hardly even registering the meaning or value that is there before him.

This represents the fact that this Knight is the most practical and materialistic of all the court cards. He places an extraordinary amount of emphasis on the concerns of the physical world. While this Knight is very rooted in the material world, he seems to somehow always miss the magic in it.

Knight of Pentacles Interpretation

Like all of the court cards, this can represent someone in our outer environment that shows the same qualities and characteristics of the Knight of Pentacles. Alternatively, in some instances it can also refer to how we ourselves are showing up in a given situation.

This Knight is cautious, conservative and concerned more with safety and diligence than with speed. He is known to be quite stubborn and often resistant to changes in his life and environment.

However, the Knight of Pentacles does possess many admirable qualities. He is known for being dependable, responsible and reliable to those around him. 

While he is admittedly less dramatic, exciting and spontaneous than the other Knights of the court cards, he is nonetheless someone who is eminently trustworthy and can be counted on to follow through on his word. 

While some might accuse this Knight of being a bit boring and conservative, his unparalleled commitment and dedication to his work and his values have the capacity to make him a reliable friend and trusted associate.

Page of Pentacles

Page of Pentacles

Keywords for the Page of Pentacles

PRACTICALAPPRECIATING BEAUTY
GROUNDEDLOVE OF NATURE
CREATING ABUNDANCEA SENSE OF WONDER
CURIOSITYPHYSICAL ACTIVITY
OPPORTUNITYSENSUAL ENJOYMENT

In the image on the card, we see a lush and verdant countryside before us. To our right, we can see soft purple mountains off in the distance. Closer, we are able to discern a furrowed field, quite recently plowed and planted with seeds which will one day bear fruit. 

On our left, we can almost hear a soft breeze rustling through a tall grove of cypress trees. We can easily imagine how enjoyable it might be to take a break from the many demands of the day, pausing to take a break from the late afternoon sun and rest under their shade.

We pull our attention closer, and see that in front of us stands a young man, dressed in what appears to be the simple yet attractive attire of a farmer or peasant. He stands on a soft bed of grass, dotted with small, colorful wildflowers all around. 

This Page holds a brass pentacle aloft in front of him, held gently, almost even adoringly in both of his hands. He gazes up in rapt attention at the object in front of him. 

Like all Pages, he is a student; representing the suit of Pentacles, he is concerned with the element of Earth, representing the physical, mundane, practical and material aspects of life. 

Page of Pentacles Interpretation

Like all of the court cards, this can represent someone in our outer environment that shows the same qualities and characteristics of the Page of Pentacles. Alternatively, in some instances it can also refer to how we ourselves are showing up in a given situation.

Physically, the Pages tend to represent children in our lives, however, these cards can also refer to any person who has a very youthful energy and lighthearted, innocent and carefree way of being in the world. 

As a Page, this card is associated with students, or those who are new to their path in general. They tend to possess a certain pure, uncomplicated passion for life and for the way they express the energy of their suit.

The Page of Pentacles can indicate someone who is very grounded in the material world, and who feels very comfortable and at home in their physical body. 

This card can also refer to a person who appreciates the natural world. He may be a nature lover, someone who enjoys spending time outside, going for hikes out in nature, and likes to observe the wild flora and fauna as he travels through the landscape.

When this card comes up, it can also indicate an opportunity for us to focus on the natural world as the object of our study.

By extension, this Page of Pentacles can refer to sensual enjoyment. Although some would interpret this as sexual in nature, this is not necessarily the case. Rather, in this case it refers more to enjoying our experience of the world through the five senses: smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. 

The Page of Pentacles asks us how we might start to embody his attitude of wonder, awe and joy ourselves. He encourages us to get curious about the world around us. 

This page reminds us of the beauty and magic which permeate the natural world, one which we can have access to any time we are willing to slow down, and shift the focus of our vision to perceive the divinity which surrounds us. 

By channeling the energy of the Page of Pentacles, we can begin to catch glimmers of the magic in the mundane. He knows that the sacred is everywhere, if only we are willing to look.

Ten of Pentacles

10 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Ten of Pentacles

ABUNDANCEORDER
WEALTHDOMESTICITY
STABILITYFAMILY LIFE
PHYSICAL COMFORTMUNDANE CONCERNS
FINANCIAL SECURITYBOREDOM

In the image on this card, we come upon a scene in the life of an obviously wealthy family. Inside of a richly decorated interior, we see seated to our left an older man, the patriarch or head of the household. He is dressed in intricately embroidered robes covered in images of ripe purple grapes on the vine, a detail reminiscent of the King of this same suit of Pentacles.

This man looks out toward the scene outside the arch. We can see various tall buildings located within the walls of the family property. We also see the other members of the family: the son stands with his back toward us, facing his wife who looks beyond him, seeming to ignore their child who is anxiously clinging to her dress with one hand while the other pets one of the family dogs.

In fact, the two dogs here are the only ones who pay any attention to the old man within. Although in theory it is he who commands authority as head of household, in practice it seems almost as if he has been forgotten and ignored by those who depend on him. Each is distracted, caught up in their own individual worries and concerns.

Ten of Pentacles Interpretation

When this card comes up in a reading, it often indicates the opportunity for achieving material success, wealth and abundance. It can refer to financial prosperity and good fortune in one’s work, business or career. It can indicate the coming to fruition of our plans and goals, where we finally receive the rewards of our previous efforts and hard work.

The 10 of Pentacles can also indicate stability and security, of having a solid foundation upon which to stand. It can refer to a stable and ordered family life, where each individual has a unique role to play which contributes to the greater overall cohesiveness and functioning of the family unit.

However, unlike the joyful, loving family seen in the 10 of Cups card, the one portrayed here seems to be less emotionally engaged and fulfilled. Although perhaps cohesive as a social unit and capable of meeting the material needs of all members, they seem to lack the emotional intimacy and mutual appreciation that is so clearly evident in the 10 of Cups. 

While the potential exists here, no one seems to pause long enough from their concern on mundane matters to recognize it.

Indeed, this reveals another meaning this card can convey in a reading, that of an excessive focus on the material world, where financial matters and physical possessions are prioritized over connections with other people.

Even though these are people who seem to “have it all,” it appears they have lost their ability to appreciate the magic inherent in the natural world around them. While their blessings are many, they seem to have fallen into the trap of allowing stability to become boredom with what one has.

Eight of Pentacles

8 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Eight of Pentacles 

HARD WORKENJOYING YOUR WORK
FOCUSED ATTENTIONCREATIVE ACTION
DISCIPLINED ACTIVITYIN A FLOW STATE
SKILLFUL LABORMEANINGFUL TASKS
MASTERYINTENTIONAL SOLITUDE

In the image on this card, we enter the workshop of a master craftsman and find him lost in his work. The late afternoon sun shines through the open door, providing the illumination this man requires to see what needs to be done and carry him through its completion.

All is quiet, the only sound we hear coming from the almost musical rhythm of the hammer and chisel as they strike the surface of the pentacle at his hand. The rhythmic sound and motion seem to have entranced the man into what can almost be considered an altered state of consciousness. 

He is in a deep flow state where the outside world seems to recede, and he becomes one with the object of his creation.

In the background to our left, the city is visible: it serves as a reminder both of his separation from the outer concerns of social life, as well as the ultimate purpose his labor serves of adding to his community.

8 of Pentacles Interpretation

When the 8 of Pentacles card comes up in a tarot reading, it often signifies a time of focused attention and hard work. 

This card will often indicate an area of our lives where disciplined attention and action is required. It tends to show where we would be well advised to dedicate our efforts in order to create more effective change in the desired areas of our lives.

However, unlike the Ten of Wands, this card does not indicate the kind of work which is experienced as a source of difficulty, or which weighs on us as the heavy burden of duty. Rather, the 8 of Pentacles indicates the kind of focused work in which we are enthralled in our task and capable of enjoying the process of creation.

It is not the drudgery of forced labor we saw in the Ten of Wands, but instead a labor of love which brings out the best in us. It is the kind of work which feels almost like play, which draws on the deepest well of our creative resources and truly brings out the best of what we have to offer.

When this card comes up in the context of love and romance, it often seeks to counsel us to take some time apart from these concerns in order to work on ourselves. It often appears when the querent has just gotten out of a relationship and is seeking guidance on how to proceed.

The 8 of Pentacles advises to get in touch with ourselves: we should get to know our true needs, preferences, likes and dislikes, as well as our habits, patterns and even defense mechanisms in relationships.

This card advises us to work on our own issues within the safe container of solitude before going back out to seek the company of others. We will typically find that if we do so, we end up better prepared to find a healthier, happier relationship than we might have been otherwise.

Seven of Pentacles

7 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Seven of Pentacles 

EVALUATIONKARMA
ASSESSMENTCAUSE & EFFECT
REFLECTIONACTION/CONSEQUENCE
APPRAISALREAPING WHAT YOU SOW
RESULTSCOMING TO FRUITION

We see a farmer deep in thought as he takes a moment of respite from his hard work in the field. He rests his head on hands which hold a shovel pointed into the soil.

He is pensive as he observes the fruits of his labor. The seven pentacles growing to our left are  evidence of the seeds he once planted, watered and carefully tended many moons ago. 

He is now in a position to pause and reflect on the work which has been done. He can now evaluate the consequences of his actions, and make adjustments to his plans for the future if necessary. 

7 of Pentacles Interpretation

When this card comes up in a tarot reading, it is often asking us to take a look at the consequences of our actions. It is a clear reminder of the old adage that “you reap what you sow.”

The 7 of Pentacles in a reading tends to show us the areas where we are now reaping the fruits of our labors. It shows us how the actions we have taken in the past have created the circumstances we are now experiencing in the present.

The nature of what we now reap depends on the kinds of seeds which we have planted and how carefully and consistently we may have tended to them.

As we can see in the image on the card, the man gazes at six pentacles which have sprouted on the vine in front of him. At his feet lies one lone pentacle which has fallen from the vine and gone to waste. Most of his efforts have borne fruit, but not everything which he put his hand to has met with success.

It signals that we are now being presented with an opportunity to reflect on what we did, what has worked and what did not. We now have the chance to reflect on our actions and behaviors and change course if necessary.

Six of Pentacles

6 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Six of Pentacles 

GENEROSITY INEQUALITY
MERCYIMBALANCE OF POWER
GIVING/RECEIVINGUNEQUAL RELATIONSHIP 
TO HAVE/HAVE NOTDOMINANCE/SUBMISSION
SHARING RESOURCESHIERARCHY

In the image on the card, we see a well-dressed man standing over two men who hold their hands outstretched to receive a few coins in their hands. This appears to be an act of charity, motivated by benevolence and good-will.  However, it is possible that all is not what it seems here.

Notice the position of the merchant’s right hand, from which he dispenses the few coins he is offering to the poor. It is in the same position as the hand not only of the Hierophant in Key 5, but also the Devil in Key 15. 

In both cases, this is a gesture which says: I give to you, but I retain yet another part to myself.

In the man’s left hand, he tightly grips a set of scales which are likely meant to be a symbolic allusion to his trade as a merchant, but also to an idea of which he would like for us to be convinced. With scales clenched in his hand, he seems intent on persuading us that this is, indeed, justice.

Contrast this with the way the goddess Justitia holds the scales in Key 11, Justice, of the Major Arcana. She holds her scales lightly,  balancing them gently on the tips of her fingers in an effortless, easy manner.

We may ask ourselves, “What does this say about the difference between the Justice of Man and the Justice of God?” 

The Justice of God (or cosmic justice, universal law, etc.) is effortless, in many ways simply a chain of action and reaction. It is like a karmic cycle that at its core is simply the interrelation of causes and their effects over time. 

It is enforced naturally, in much the same way the earth turns and the sun rises and we are born and must die in a natural sequence of beginnings and endings.

Human justice, however, is grasped tightly, and much effort is expended to exact retribution and maintain an order that at its best, is artificial, and in the worst cases, is highly unjust and contrary to the values of life.  

It is often maintained through the use of excessive force, with violence and suffering in order to ensure compliance to a system created by the dominant group in power. 

It is also maintained through a hegemonic system of values which idealizes the generosity of the wealthy in the form of alms and small acts of charity, which honors and preserves their right to hoard wealth, refuse to pay a living wage, and set up economic and political systems which keep the majority of the population in a state of perpetual poverty and material lack. 

However, it is not merely on a large scale, societal level in which giving to the other can be a powerful tool for control and influence. 

Often, in interpersonal relationships, we find a dynamic in which one person controls the resources (financial, emotional, physical) and dispenses them to others in order to establish a relationship of dependence. 

This manufactured state of dependence is then often used as a tool of manipulation in which the one who is seemingly the beneficiary is obligated to provide other kinds of resources (for example, emotional or domestic labor) to the more seemingly “generous” party.

6 of Pentacles Interpretation

When the 6 of Pentacles comes up in a reading, we are often being asked to look more attentively at the power dynamics in which we are engaged.

This card may point to a situation in which we are relating to others through a dynamic that is based on inequality. This is a dynamic in which one person gives and the other takes, leaving little in the way of reciprocity.

The 6 of Pentacles often asks us to question our assumptions regarding the nature of the exchange, as well as our perceptions regarding the moral value we attribute to each of the players in this game. 

Again, we usually will find that all is not as it seems. Often, the person in the role of “giver” may offer a helping hand less out of mercy than out of a desire to control and build or retain his own power in the situation. 

In the scene picture on the Six of Pentacles, the wealthy merchant controls the resources available based on an economic and political system which has been established to protect the interests of his class. 

Those lower than him on the social scale are disempowered, and often denied the opportunity to earn a living in a way that will support the fulfillment of their basic needs. 

The tokens of “mercy” are little more than an excuse, a way to ease the tension and buy the good will of those who have been marginalized by a system he has helped to create.

The bottom line here is that the Six of Pentacles often asks us to question our assumptions regarding the nature of exchange within any given relationship we may find ourselves in.

We would do well to take a step back and take a look at the relational power dynamics we are engaged in from a new vantage point. You may be surprised to find that in some ways, it may better to give than to receive.

Five of Pentacles

5 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Five of Pentacles

POVERTYREJECTION
ILLNESSEXCLUSION
FINANCIAL TROUBLESNOT BELONGING
NOT FEELING WELCOMEDIFFICULT TIMES
OSTRACIZEDINSECURITY

In the image on the card, we see a man and a woman standing outside of a warm, well-lit church. There is no door visible here that could grant the pair access. They seem to be shut out of the comfort and care they appear to need so desperately. 

Outside, the two are both barefoot, and their ragged clothes hang in tatters on their bodies. 

The man walks on crutches, one bandaged foot alerting us to an injury which has not yet healed.

Curiously, we also see a bell that hangs from this man’s neck. This accessory is likely a reference to the practice, common during the medieval era, of forcing those with leprosy to wear bells in order to alert others to their nearby presence. 

This was done so that the rest of society, those who still preserved their health and well-being, could better avoid those who were ill, those who they feared would infect them.

The juxtaposition of these two unfortunate souls standing outside in the bitter cold is made all the more harsh by the warm light radiating from the colorful church windows behind them. They are so close to the abundance and belonging they so deeply desire. 

However, even though it is clearly visible in front of them, they are nonetheless separated from what they need in order to be well by the hard walls of dark stone which serve as boundaries between them and those deemed more deserving.

5 of Pentacles Interpretation

When the 5 of Pentacles comes up in a reading, we may often find ourselves in a situation where we feel rejected, isolated, or unwanted. We might feel as if we have been “left out in the cold,” and there is no one here to tend to our wounds or offer us any kind of comfort and care.

When this card appears, we might be confronted with some kind of loss or negative change in circumstances. This could potentially mean financial troubles, loss of work, illness or injury. 

It also comes up when we feel rejected socially or betrayed in a romantic involvement. We might potentially find that our partner has cheated or chosen to be with someone else over us.

Whatever the case may be, when the 5 of Pentacles shows up for us, we will most likely feel that our luck has deserted us. We may now suffer the material or emotional consequences of some kind of abandonment by others.

This rejection, lack of inclusion or loss does not always manifest itself in the material or physical conditions of our lives. 

There are times when this card will refer to a kind of inner lack. We may feel insecure about ourselves or our worth, and suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of self-respect. 

With the 5 of Pentacles, we could feel a pervasive sense of insecurity in our lives, one which causes us to doubt who we are and what we have to offer to the world.

Regardless of the many ways in which this card can manifest, the essential core of meaning here has to do with the unease which comes from feeling damaged, insufficient or lacking in some way. 

This is further associated with the inability or unwillingness of others to recognize us as someone worthy of belonging and care. It also represents the denial of material support and assistance that results as a consequence.

Three of Pentacles

3 of Pentacles

Keywords for the Three of Pentacles 

COOPERATIONTEAMWORK
COLLABORATIONCOMMUNITY EFFORT
SHARED RESOURCESSOCIAL PARTICIPATION
COMMON GOALSRECIPROCITY
WORKING TOGETHERMUTUAL EXCHANGE

In the image on the card, we see three people standing in front of a gray stone church that is under construction. 

On our left is a craftsman, who stands on a bench, pointing in the direction of the work which is to be done on the cathedral in front of them. 

In the middle of the trio we see someone who appears to be a friar or other church official. He gazes intently up at the master builder as he attempts to understand what is being asked of him.

Finally, on the far right of the trio we see a man dressed in the most unusual yellow cape patterned with large red circles over its surface. 

His attire is reminiscent of a court jester’s colorful costume, which is itself an allusion to the first card of the Major Arcana, the Fool. And oddly enough, it is he who holds the blueprint for the structure which all three are working together to create and bring into manifestation. 

The character of the fool likely represents what is known to us as superconsciousness, or our Higher Selves. It is this Higher Self which is most directly connected to what we think of as God or the universal source. It is in fact the superconscious part of our being which holds the plans for what we will manifest as our lived experience. 

The friar may be seen as representing the conscious mind, which decides what values are important and selects the day-to-day goals which will be pursued. The craftsman, on the other hand, represents the body and the subconscious mind which is responsible for the actual work of building the physical body and what we experience through our senses.

This is meant as a reminder that the ego, or conscious mind, is not truly the one in control. The rational, egoic self does not chart the course, but instead observes with discernment and provides direction for how we may go about arriving at our ultimate destination. 

3 of Pentacles Interpretation

When the 3 of Pentacles comes up in a tarot reading, it often speaks to a situation in our lives where we are being called on to work together.

This card may signal that we are being encouraged to put aside our differences in order to work towards achieving a common goal. It means valuing the unique contribution that each person brings to the table, acknowledging our differences while also staying mindful of our shared values and dreams held in common.

The 3 of Pentacles often comes up in readings regarding work or career. In this context, it typically indicates an area where teamwork and cooperation are required.

In readings on love and romance, this card often comes up when we find ourselves in a relationship where we have decided upon a common goal, and are working together as a unit to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. 

It also speaks to maturity in love and relationships, one where healthy compromise is a priority. It may refer to a relationship where both partners consider themselves to truly be a team, where there is an understanding that meeting the needs of the other is beneficial to the self, and striving to do so whenever possible.